How You Do I do it??? Keeping My House Clean.

Keeping the house clean... The struggle is real and true...and many of us don't know how to get out of the vicious cycle. I understand. I have been there. I have five kids going in 5 different directions. I know. I so know what it feels like to get one area cleaned to turn around and see another disaster.

So, how do you conquer this?  Ok, Ok, you can't get rid of the kids...or in some cases, your husband. Yes, I said it. Sometimes, it may be your other half. Even if it is, what can you do?  I have walked through this struggle. And to be honest ladies, it's really not a struggle for me. Ninety-nine percent of the time my house is company-ready. I like it to look nice, just in case somebody stops by. I never want to be embarrassed. But at the same time I am not a slave to my house. I have found that the more organized I have become the more time and spontanaiety I have in my life. Order can be a freeing thing. And yes, when the kids are younger it is harder. It just requires more order. So. let me give you a few helpful hints to keep the house in order.

* Everyone helps!!! From walking age on up!!! Everyone can pick up after themselves.  Teach them to pick up after themselves when they are done with whatever they are doing. It takes a little time on your part, but it works in the end. And if I see something left out, I immediately go that person and have them stop what they are doing now and clean up the last mess. This also goes for yourself. Sometimes we can create big messes. Finish one task before another.

*I wash dishes after every meal so they don't stack up. It takes five minutes to wash dishes afer each meal. If not, you end up doing an hours worth of dishes at the end of day after dinner when you are tired and grumpy. I also put away any food items and wipe the counters down and wipe the table down. If you have a child above the age of 4-5 you can have them wipe the table down after every meal. I also would sweep really quick around the table after every meal ( a job for a child over the age of 6-7).

*Have chore lists for each child. We normally clean on Saturday mornings. Everyone has a list and we clean our large home in less than 2 hours. That includes all 4 bathrooms, all floors are cleaned, dusting is done and things put away. I don't give the kids the whole bathroom to clean. One goes in and does all the toilets, one cleans the counters and showers and the other sweeps and mops the floors. It's a joint effort and it makes a difference and it doesn't overwhelm anyone.  We also have chores during the week. Floors are swept at least once a day, our main family room that gets the most traffic is usually vacuumed everyday, trash is taken out (by the way,  that is on the chore list on Saturdays. Our youngest has to empty all the trash cans in the house) and general clean up. 

*I never leave my house in a disaster state. Before we go anywhere we all go around and straighten up. Toys are put away, family room straightened, table cleared, school books put away. That way when we walk in later we don't walk into a mess. It makes a huge difference on my own mind set. I hate walking into a mess...especially if you are bringing more stuff into the house. I also go through my house late at night whenever everyone is in bed. I straighten things up, put things away that were left out and leave the house the way I want to wake up to.  Waking up to a disaster makes me want to hibernate and not get anything done...and then you have a bigger mess. It only takes 5 minutes to do a quick overview late at night. 

*I periodically go through rooms and clean out. Get rid of clutter, go through any papers, and make sure everything that is in that room should be there. We had an ice storm this past week and since we were locked in our home I decided to go through my closet. I threw away some clothes, I made a bag for charity and I reorganized the whole closet. It felt so good to go through it all.

*When the mail comes I instantly go through it all. I don't have any stacks of papers around my house. I throw the ads away immediately and open up any correspondence. I have a place for any bills on Matthew's desk and anything really important goes in my planner so that it doesn't get lost. Now that we pay almost every bill online we don't get many paperbills. That has cut down a lot on our mail. The trick though is not to let it stack up. Go through it, pay it, throw it away or have a special file for it. Mail can really become a clutter problem. And if you get magazines, read them and then give them away. Don't let them stack up. And that goes for catalogs too (if you get any)...go through them, pick anything out that you want to order and then trash them. And if I know I am not going to order anything, they go right into the garbage.

*As a general rule when we bring something new in the house, we try to get rid of something. Not that we look for something in particular, but we try to stream line all the time. And everything should have a purpose. And if it doesn't have a purpose then it needs to go. The older we get the more simple we have become. I like that. It makes my life so much easier. 

*Oh yeah...a definite must. I make my bed every morning. There is nothing like getting into a made bed every night. I have a beautiful quilt on my bed...and I want to show off it's beauty. I can't do that by having it crumpled at the end of my bed. After a long day of homeschooling and dealing with my kids there is nothing like coming into a neat and tidy room with your bed made. It's simple.

This is a brief synopsis of how I keep my house clean and company-ready. It makes me feel so much more peaceful knowing that my house is clean. Remember, more organization brings so much more freedom into your life. You don't have to be a slave to lists and calendars, but but keep things a bit more orderly, it allow so much more time. If you have any questions, let me know.

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